Leonardo insists the 3-0 defeat is not a Scudetto surrender, “but admittedly five points are a lot. I respect the Milan fans.”
The Nerazzurri had the opportunity to go top of the table tonight, but were beaten 3-0 by rivals and Serie A leaders Milan.
“Is this a surrender for the Scudetto? No, certainly not that, but admittedly five points are a lot with only seven games to go,” said the Coach.
“At the end of the first half we had some good chances, then five minutes after the break Cristian Chivu was sent off and that affected our ability to fight back.”
Alexandre Pato scored a brace in this game, including the opener after just 47 seconds, before Antonio Cassano's late penalty.
“If you concede after one minute, then it is going to make it very difficult and change all your plans. We didn't do enough tonight and Milan made it hard for us.
“In the second half, with a man down, it got even harder. We struggled a lot in attack and didn't move enough off the ball, so ran into a lot of problems trying to create chances.
“Am I surprised by Pato's performance? No, I know him very well.”
Leonardo was the Coach of Milan last season and spent 13 years there as player, talent scout – signing Pato – and tactician.
This was his first game against the Rossoneri and the crowd held up a giant banner depicting The Last Supper with Leo as Judas.
“I respect the Milan fans. I know what I experienced with them and I am proud of everything I am experiencing now. There is nothing to analyse.
“I saw and heard the welcome I was given here, but I respect everyone.”